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Question: Is broadband a luxury or an essential utility?
It's a luxury - 14 (29.2%)
It's an essential utility - 32 (66.7%)
Ellen Pompeo but only if I can watch her via bittorent - 2 (4.2%)
Total Voters: 47

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Author Topic: Is broadband a luxury or an essential utility?  (Read 1718 times)
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« on: December 18, 2006, 05:57:24 PM »

Interesting article at Extremetech (link) about broadband and it's increasing prevalence.  At the heart of the issue is whether we should continue to think of broadband internet as a luxury or as a utility like telephone service.

For me, I can't imagine not having broadband anymore.  It's pretty much essential.
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« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2006, 06:03:31 PM »

I consider it a luxury in general and voted as such.  It isn't something you HAVE to have (though I suppose the same arguement could be made for a telephone)
That said, I have to have it for my job (and I'm very fortunate in that they pay for it), so that could skew my view.  With XBox Live, I'd never get rid of it, and I would go internet free in my house before ever going back to dialup.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2006, 06:05:38 PM by JLu » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2006, 06:04:10 PM »

I'm a telecommuter, so it's an essential utility for me.
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« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2006, 06:10:54 PM »

Utility.

You could go all Luddite and cut off electricity as well... but who the hell wants to do that?
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« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2006, 06:18:38 PM »

Utility for me. I rely upon the internet more for news and communication than I do for television; it's about on par with the phone for me. I use the internet for communication more than the phone, but there are times when I need the phone for instant voice communication and the pc isn't an option.

I also only use a cell phone; no landline.
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« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2006, 06:31:07 PM »

I voted "Essential Utility" and I shall explain why!   eek icon_biggrin

First, I think it's important to give my opinion about something. 

I think that the issue at hand is being considered in the wrong way.  I believe a fair amount of people get tripped up in the if's and but's of this issue.  For example, "What if the person doesn't own a computer?" or "But old people never use the Internet!".  (These are two really basic examples!)  It's not about wants it's about needs.  Most companies today absolutely rely on some sort of Broadband Internet as an essential part of the way they do business.  Many individuals also rely on some type of Broadband Internet for many things, and it's not likely that it's just porn either.   eek  Bill paying, online shopping, research, you name it, we will use Broadband Internet for all sorts of different things.  Now if you think about how dependent this country as well as most of the developed world is on Broadband Internet, you begin to realize that it's much bigger than and individual that maybe can't afford a computer or an elderly person that may not be able to use a computer. 

See, I figure even if you don't use the Internet, or maybe even never used the Internet, you still are impacted in some way.  Insurance companies keep track of you, Hospitals send and receive medical records of a patient, something you buy more than likely may be ordered online... it's all relative in the end.  It affects us all in some way and it's time that we recognize this on a National level.  Thus, YES, I think it's now a must-have utility, and that it must be labeled as such.       
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Kobra
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« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2006, 06:38:22 PM »

Quote from: warning on December 18, 2006, 05:57:24 PM

Interesting article at Extremetech (link) about broadband and it's increasing prevalence.  At the heart of the issue is whether we should continue to think of broadband internet as a luxury or as a utility like telephone service.

For me, I can't imagine not having broadband anymore.  It's pretty much essential.

Easily, in this household it is a utility, there is no way we would classify it as a luxury, broadband is as needed as heat in this home.  Things we do that are directly tied to broadband;

1) Our only phone service is entirely VOIP through SunRocket (At only $8 a month I might add)
2) MUCH of our TV viewing is now tied into broadband via TIVO.
3) 100% of my banking is done through broadband.
4) 100% of my investments, 401k, stock, trust funds are managed through broadband.
5) 90% of most of my communication with family and friends is through broadband. (videophone calls, emails, you name it)
6) 90%+ of my shopping and purchases are online.

I remember a couple years ago when we were considering moving, the first question we always asked of a house we were being shown was "What kind of broadband is available?".  That to me, sounds like an essential utility.
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« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2006, 06:45:57 PM »

Luxury for me in that I'm certain I could live without it.

I certainly wouldn't ENJOY living without, but I could.

gellar
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« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2006, 06:47:29 PM »

When all the lights went out here last week I was pretty happy I didn't have a VOIP phone.
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« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2006, 06:48:33 PM »

Utility.  How else would we get our porn?
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« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2006, 07:18:57 PM »

I should probably add, to most companies, internet access is definitely a utility.

If we lost network connectivity to anywhere external to our building, hardly any work could get done.  Email, especially, is a vital resource.  If the entire network went down, everyone may as well go home: nothing is getting done.
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« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2006, 07:19:01 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on December 18, 2006, 06:48:33 PM

Utility.  How else would we get our porn?

Back when I was a kid, we had to convince the guy behind the counter at Store 24 that we were 18!!

Quote from: unbreakable on December 18, 2006, 07:18:57 PM

If we lost network connectivity to anywhere external to our building, hardly any work could get done.

Around here, productivity might actually go up if internet access were lost (so long as the internal network was still up)
« Last Edit: December 18, 2006, 07:20:58 PM by JLu » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2006, 07:51:53 PM »

As much as I love it, it is still a Luxury...

Email - Can be done over dial up
Browsing Forums - Can be done over dial up
Online Banking - Can be done over dial up
Online Gaming - Luxury
Phone is through a land line, house is a deadzone, no cell phones get reception anywhere in my house, wouldn't want to depend on internet connection for a phone line.
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« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2006, 08:08:48 PM »

As I've said before, and I'll say again - if I ever thought about moving to a place where they didn't offer some sort of high-speed internet (that isn't satellite), I wouldn't move there.
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« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2006, 08:25:01 PM »

Quote
With XBox Live, I'd never get rid of it, and I would go internet free in my house before ever going back to dialup.

That's a good point, if you have an Xbox/Xbox 360 and ever want to play online, broadband is an essential utility. Even the PS2 which supported dial up in the beginning, the vast majority of the games say "Broadband Only" now.

And porn was already brought up.. try downloading a 300mb video on dial-up! I'm guilty of that years ago when broadband was new and they were late getting it to our area, trying to use download accelerator, going to work, coming back and it's at 20%, going to sleep, wake up it's at 50%.. then the internet connection stopped somewhere along the way.

Honestly I just coudn't imagine anything less than broadband this day in age. The only exception is my Pocket PC (T-Mobile MDA) which connects through T-Mobile's GPRS (around the speed of a 56k modem) but I only use that to catch up on email or play a couple games (poker, chess, etc.) online.
Once you go broadband it's hard to go back to anything less, and this day in age when broadband is just about the norm, there's no reason to. 
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« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2006, 09:22:39 PM »

It's a utility for me.  I pay almost all my bills online, do shopping online, handle my bank accounts online, VOIP phone, work from home, etc. 
I don't think I could handle it if I had to go without broadband.
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« Reply #16 on: December 18, 2006, 09:37:53 PM »

Utter necessity to me. If I go more than 72 hours without internet access of any sort I start getting the shakes. Whenever we move next that will be the next thing hooked up immediately following our electricity.  nod
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« Reply #17 on: December 18, 2006, 09:52:00 PM »

If it came down to dropping satellite TV or DSL the TV would go.
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« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2006, 11:31:53 PM »

Essential utility in my household my wife uses it for work sometimes bill paying online, shopping even my boys use it to send their computer lab homework to school. 
« Last Edit: December 19, 2006, 12:11:28 AM by pingwrx » Logged

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« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2006, 12:09:09 AM »

To keep these videos hosted on the site, there is no choice but broadband, and fast broadband at that.  Those 2GB demos and such don't make their way on the site on their own. smile
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« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2006, 12:13:49 AM »

I'm going to say utility for one reason:  The price has lowered itself (in most cases) to the point where it's no longer in 'luxury' range.  In fact, I would (and plan to when I get another job and move) cut cable/satellite TV before I'd cut the internet.  After all, I can -download- the TV shows I want to see, and see them when I want to and how I want to.  smile
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« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2006, 12:59:04 AM »

Quote from: SuperHiro on December 18, 2006, 06:47:29 PM

When all the lights went out here last week I was pretty happy I didn't have a VOIP phone.

What, no cell phone?  I can live with a day or two without power for the savings on VOIP.
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« Reply #22 on: December 19, 2006, 01:04:51 AM »

Quote from: SuperHiro on December 18, 2006, 06:47:29 PM

When all the lights went out here last week I was pretty happy I didn't have a VOIP phone.

We had a full house generator installed in 2005.. No fucking way I am going without the PC's and Internet in a power outtage.. Not going to happen.  Power outtages are torture, period, and I was determined to never have them effect us again.  The first thing I would have installed if I ever bought another house would be a generator, the second thing - broadband.  Everything else can wait.. Hehe
« Last Edit: December 19, 2006, 01:07:30 AM by Kobra » Logged

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« Reply #23 on: December 19, 2006, 01:36:15 AM »

Quote from: Kobra on December 19, 2006, 01:04:51 AM

Quote from: SuperHiro on December 18, 2006, 06:47:29 PM

When all the lights went out here last week I was pretty happy I didn't have a VOIP phone.

We had a full house generator installed in 2005.. No fucking way I am going without the PC's and Internet in a power outtage.. Not going to happen.  Power outtages are torture, period, and I was determined to never have them effect us again.  The first thing I would have installed if I ever bought another house would be a generator, the second thing - broadband.  Everything else can wait.. Hehe

Solar panels!!!

Actually, when I had VoIP, I kept the cordless phone, modem, router, and VoIP box on a UPS.  Amazingly, all that equipment is still around and working (well, I'm not actually using any of it, but it is still functional), but the UPS is dead.
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« Reply #24 on: December 19, 2006, 01:36:58 AM »

Quote from: Austin on December 19, 2006, 12:59:04 AM

Quote from: SuperHiro on December 18, 2006, 06:47:29 PM

When all the lights went out here last week I was pretty happy I didn't have a VOIP phone.

What, no cell phone?  I can live with a day or two without power for the savings on VOIP.

Cell phone ran out of juice.  I was essentially without power for about 24 hours.  I didn't have a chance to fully charge the phone.  The power went out for good when I was getting a haircut, so I had half a haircuit.  Then I decided to go to work in Redmond. Since power was out at my place, and I didn't listen to the radio in the car, I had no idea how fucked the Eastside was until I got there.  And when I did get there, I was low on gas.  No way I was going to try and drive back in that absolutely ridiculous traffic, I'd run out of gas for sure.  All the phones at work were dead except for the ghetto ones with no fancy displays or anything.  

So basically, I was preparing to spend the night at work until I lucked out and got a ride to Seattle where I could get some gas.  It was a pretty goofy weekend.
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« Reply #25 on: December 19, 2006, 02:55:55 AM »

Quote from: SuperHiro on December 19, 2006, 01:36:58 AM

Quote from: Austin on December 19, 2006, 12:59:04 AM

Quote from: SuperHiro on December 18, 2006, 06:47:29 PM

When all the lights went out here last week I was pretty happy I didn't have a VOIP phone.

What, no cell phone?  I can live with a day or two without power for the savings on VOIP.

Cell phone ran out of juice.

No car charger?

I agree though, the savings on VOIP is so astronomical with some services, that indeed even RENTING a generator for a couple days would be nothing in comparison.  $8ish a month vs $50-80+ a month for land line service is something I have trouble understanding why people with decent net connections would pay.

I still can't figure out why my father in-law, who has a 4MB connection, still pays $70-80 average per month for their landline.  Especially when they call my wife every few days, and see how clear our VOIP is - and the fact it hasn't had any downtime, while they landline has gone out 4 times this year.
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« Reply #26 on: December 19, 2006, 01:31:56 PM »

As I stated in another thread:

Quote
Personally, I prioritize high-speed internet over running water.  I would gladly shit in a paper bag if I had to so long as I can have a live video feed of that South African watering hole.
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« Reply #27 on: December 19, 2006, 10:33:31 PM »

Basically a utility for me.
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« Reply #28 on: December 19, 2006, 11:34:39 PM »

Quote from: IkeVandergraaf on December 19, 2006, 01:31:56 PM

As I stated in another thread:

Quote
Personally, I prioritize high-speed internet over running water.  I would gladly shit in a paper bag if I had to so long as I can have a live video feed of that South African watering hole.

Wow thats great!
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